February 25, 2009

Homeschool Group Told to Follow Day Care Regulations

The director of a homeschool group in Texas was contacted by a social worker, who demanded that the group comply with the “child day care” regulations of the state. Confused and distraught by this demand, the director contacted Home School Legal Defense Association for help.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Chris Klicka reviewed state day care regulations and determined they were indeed only for child day cares, not private schools. The homeschool group operates as a private school by partnering with other homeschool families. Yet they only provide supplemental academic instruction and leave the core instruction and supervision to the parents. In addition, many of the parents stay with their children during some of the classes taken with the homeschool group, and then directly supervise the academic work at home.

Klicka determined that all families involved with this homeschool group were in compliance with Texas law. Klicka then sent a letter to the social worker explaining why the homeschool group does not have to follow child day care regulations. Klicka emphasized that the social worker’s demand that the director of the homeschool group attend classes to learn how to properly change diapers was misguided. In addition, the letter explained that private schools do not need to be accredited in Texas (as the social worker had stated to the homeschool group), and that there was absolutely no need for the homeschool group to even seek an exemption under the day care regulations, since the homeschool group was operating as a legitimate private school—not a daycare!

The director of the homeschool group has not heard from the social worker since.

HSLDA Social Services Contact Policy

We desire to advise our members in every contact with a social worker and/or police officer in investigations resulting from allegations of abuse or neglect. If homeschooling is an issue, we will represent our member families until the issue is resolved. On Fourth Amendment unreasonable search and seizure issues, HSLDA will advise our members whenever the privacy of their home is violated by forced or coerced entry for the purpose of an unsubstantiated investigation. HSLDA membership benefits do not extend to court actions resulting from non-homeschooling matters. However, in circumstances where there is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, HSLDA may, as we have done in the past, choose to take the case in an effort to establish legal precedent.